Literary happenings to start off the new year:
- At West Hollywood’s Book Soup: Sun 1/9 3pm, Spike Lee talks about Do The Right Thing, his new behind-the-scenes look at his classic film of the same name; Mon 1/10 7pm, David Levithan with his new novel The Lover’s Dictionary.
- Sun 1/9 7pm, the New Short Fiction Series kicks off its 15th season with dramatic readings of ‘Rubiaux Rising & Other Stories’ by Steve De Jarnatt. The title piece, Steve’s first published story (though he has had a successful career in film and television), was selected by Alice Sebold for the 2009 Best American Short Stories anthology. Show up early for the 6:30 wine bar courtesy of Silver Lake Wine. (Barnsdall Art Museum, 4800 Hollywood Blvd; tix $10 in advance, $15 at the door.)
- also Sun 1/9 (8pm), the venerable Chinatown reading series Vermin on the Mount starts the year off with Danielle Dutton, Antonia Crane, Patrick O’Neil, Jeanne Darst, and Chiwan Choi. (The Mountain Bar, 473 Gin Ling Way.)
- Fri 1/14 7:30pm, Word Theatre has actors Bruce Vilanch, Ian Hart and Samantha Mathis reading stories by Hanif Kureishi, Simon Van Booy, and Amy Bloom. (M Bar, 1253 Vine Place, corner of Fountain & Vine. Doors at 6pm, $10 food minimum.)
- The Central Library’s ALOUD Series (in the Mark Taper Auditorium) presents: Tues 1/18 7pm, Tom Rachman (The Imperfectionists) in conversation with Carolyn Kellogg; and Tues 1/25 7pm, Maxine Hong Kingston, in conversation with Andrew Lam.
- At UCLA’s Hammer Museum: Tues 1/25 7pm, poet Jennifer Knox, and fiction writer and memoirist Sarah Manguso (whose terrific collection of very short fiction, Hard to Admit and Harder to Escape, is the high point of a McSweeney’s boxed set of very short stories I review here); and, if you miss her at the Central Library, Wed 1/26 7pm, Maxine Hong Kingston.
- Finally, Mon 1/31 7:30, Writers Bloc hosts an evening with Alice Hoffman, in conversation with KUSC’s Gail Eichenthal. (The Writer’s Guild Theater, 135 South Doheny Drive, Beverly Hills. $20, reservations recommended.)